Link Dump Friday №193


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Link Dump Fridays

DoraWhat's this? What's this? Games are everywhere! What's this? The weekend's nearly there! What's this? I can't believe my eyes, I must be dreaming, wake up JiG this isn't fair!... what's this?!

... well, the answer is clearly Link Dump Friday, of course! The first Link Dump Friday of December, also known as "there is no other music but raucous seasonal tunes" month. No matter what holiday you're gearing up to celebrate, or even if you aren't celebrating at all, let's kick this month off right with a new batch of games for my most beloved readers. (Hey, that's you dudes!)

  • LoveLove - Love makes the world go 'round, and apparently it's the inspiration for this slightly arty little arcade game. The object is to increase your score by staying close to as many people at once, which makes you happy, but if you get too close to any one of them, you get hurt. Whether you agree with the oddly cynical sentiment behind it aside, there's still something soothing and hypnotic about the hushed chorus that grows louder the more people you have around you, combined with the flush of colour, versus the stark silence when you're alone. I can guarantee you I'd get hurt if I got close like that to my husband, but only because he probably couldn't tolerate more than fifteen seconds of me going "aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" softly in his ear from an inch away while he was trying to work.
  • Flaming Zombooka 2Flaming Zombooka 2 - I've said it before and I'll say it again; bazookas make everything better. This physics puzzle game continues in the footsteps of titles like Fragger, but has you taking aim at the undead instead. Try to blow up all the zombies onscreen while at the same time try not to blow up any not dead bystanders. I question the legitimacy of the claim that these people are indeed human since I'm reasonably certain most of us couldn't survive even a single bazooka shot to the gut. I mean... at least, I don't think so. Hey, anyone wanna help me test a theory? It'll be like Mythbusters!
  • MomigaMomiga - Aside from being my new victory cry ("MMMMOOOMIGAAA!"), Momiga is also the title of this super minimalist little puzzle game where the object is to get the little white dot (pictured thusly) from the left to the right side of the screen. Sound simple? Well, you don't get any instruction as to how to do that, and the method changes each time you successfully cross over. Short, tricky, and a little frustrating, Momiga is still a fun little diversion for those of you who haven't yet earned your "moving a thing to the other side of another thing" merit badges.
  • MorphingMorphing - In this weird little physics puzzle game, you play some magic floating eyeballs with the ability to instantly morph into any object you're able to click on. ... Jay, are you sure this isn't something I came up with during last night's office party? I don't remember much, but this is kind of... no? Okay. Anyway, the goal is to get yon ocular orbs to the big target at the end of each level by figuring out which objects you need to click on in what order. The morphing concept is a clever one, but it's not implemented nearly as well as it could be to make the game really interesting beyond "click here, then click here faster".
  • Training SetTraining Set - This vaguely unsettling little... uh... puzzle-ish interactive art-ish game, for lack of a better classification, is definitely strange. You play an oddly proportioned humanoid in a black and white land who must rely on your silent observers for direction; each of them will push a button, which will unlock a new ability for you to use that corresponds to a number key. You know, abilities like walking. It's a shame the ending is so abrupt and unsatisfying, because, frustrations with the controls aside, it's strangely compelling.

32 Comments

wh- What's the ending of Training Set?

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Quite liked Training Set, it took a moment after the 5th observer to work out out how the skills had changed.

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wildflower12 Author Profile Page December 3, 2010 2:48 AM

Is that really the way Training Set is supposed to end? I feel totally short changed.

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Love was fun, but I took it to mean more that

if one gets too close, one gets too dependent, and that can lead to a bad experience for both parties (which is true.) I mean, would YOU want someone who constantly clung to you to?

Just my two cents.

Momiga - fun little two minute diversion.

Training set -

Perhaps you're a robot or a golem, brought to life and taught/coded to do things, for scientific/magical purposes! Once they're done, they put you to death. You have proved their hypothesis. Really, those remote controls and glasses look awfully suspicious.

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Squee! Thank you Dora. The Nightmare Before Christmas reference made my holiday season!

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Well, Training Set was kinda weird. I would have preferred to just hold down the numbers instead of mashing them, but it was still fun. Lovin the TNBC ref too. :D

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Hmmm... Seem to be stuck in Training set (is that even supposed to be possible in this game?)

Went the whole length of the "starting" floor back and forth, got one level lower, went all the way to the left until the guy left of the ladder-like thing - and now all I seem to be able to do is walk there back and forth - and play dead if i want - which i don't :)

Power of posting must help me though.

bio

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And of course it did :D

didn't realize i can use 1 to "swim" when lying on the ground

bio

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Well, Training set was a bit on the short and easy side and it indeed ended abruptly, but I still liked it thoroughly. What I loved the most about it was the level design. So evidently well-thought-out.

bio

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I like the idea of morphing, but the execution is, IMHO, terrible. "Temporal pixel-hunting" of the worst kind. Level 4 did me in - I guess you have to find the exact nanosecond to click or the guy won't stay on the goal platform but bounce off because of its momentum and inertia.

I dunno, maybe all the levels after #4 are great and offer casual fun, but that level is insane IMHO.

But, as I said, the idea is clever.

bio

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Billy Nitro Author Profile Page December 3, 2010 8:01 AM

Flaming Zombooka, Momiga, and Morphing didn't work for me. They loaded and there was a blank screen, but with the custom cursor respective to the games that had them. Is something wrong with my flash player? I'm using Windows 7 and the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox did not work.

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Training Set apparently was done in a weekend for an IndieGame Jam event, which is why the ending is so abrupt. Hope the designer does more with it!

He said the stark black-and-white look is because he didn't have time to add more detail, but I think it makes the game.

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I like Morphing up to a point -- the idea is good, and on most levels the "you must click in this place at this nanosecond" feeling isn't as bad with most physics puzzlers. (That genre really bugs me sometimes.) On a lot of the levels, when you have to click somewhere at a specific time, it develops slowly enough that you can get your mouse on the right object in time to click it. Level 4 is actually like that --

you click on the ball first, and when it's falling over the target area click on the box. Time this so the box falls onto the platform and it won't roll off. There's a reasonable amount of margin for error here.

Some of the levels with bombs do seem like they fall into this trap though, and I'm completely stuck on level 25. It'd help me a lot if there were some way of locking on to an object so that you could switch to it when you wanted without having to click in its area.

On this level -- I may have got the number wrong, it has two bombs and two beach balls, and your initial location is in empty space at the bottom of the screen -- I'm pretty sure you have to click on the lower beachball the instant after the bomb under it goes off, so it winds up flying up from the bottom of the screen, and click on the other ball while it's moving to get it over to the target. But I've only once succeeded in even getting the timing right with the first ball. It's moving extremely fast then, so it's hard to get the click right.

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kingjulien86 Author Profile Page December 3, 2010 9:53 AM

Wait what? In Training Set

I fall and that's it? Or did I do something wrong

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matt,
you're surley right with Morphing's level #4, all i know is that I was trying for that level alone for about 10 minutes, at least 30 times and couldn't find "that nanosecond". Must be me.

bio

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I think art games are nice with the metaphors and feelings, but if there are people having problems or hating then they should see a doctor.

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Training set is crashtastic on linux at least :/

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I don't know why, but in Training Set I can't go down the damn ladder. I've tried falling closer to it but I keep just going back and forth. What the hell am I doing wrong??

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Ok I figured it out, I didn't try walking back the other direction.

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bio -- OK, just wanted to make sure you weren't trying to do something really impossible, like

trying to get the ball to stop in the target.

Physics puzzlers are pretty variable, I guess; with a lot of them I find that there's a fair amount of "click just right at this second or in this place," and at the beginning of this one I found it developed slowly enough to let me do this more than some other ones I tried. Got impossible at level 31, though, when -- well, I won't get into two much detail, but

At the end of the level you have to click on two things very quickly, and the second one is very narrow and swaying.

I guess the reflex challenges might be considered part of the genre, but I would like to see more physics puzzlers where you could focus on the physics. At least this one kept it under control for a lot of the levels, at least to my ability. Also, googly eyes.

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Wow... Love is just so entrancing... I can't get enough of it!

Oh, I like the game too!

Har har.

Really though, it's well made, and it's very hard to not think in slightly pragmatic terms about the subject when you play the game for a bit. The chords are the real topper to me: the way they're constantly swirling around in a musical din has a crazy effect on the brain that just makes you feel relaxed and tense at the same time. This is actually probably my favorite avoidance-type game in a long time.

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Wow, just when I've seen that movie yesterday -Nightmare before Christmas-You start with that song, must be my lucky day!

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Morphing Tip:

If you click and hold the mouse button, you will morph into anything you pass the cursor over, or anything that passes under the cursor. Try positioning the cursor where you know an object is going to be...

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matt w, for level 25 (which I guess you've solved now), I got it in one click by

morphing into the lower while it's bouncing up the second time. If you click on it about 3/4 of the way to the top, the timing should be just right that the other ball just knocks yours into the goal. Took a few tries though.

Totally stuck on level 30, though. And apparently there are more levels after that?

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Training Set has two observers that never do anything in the upper right.

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Buttons -- I think I did it in two clicks, but I'm not sure the second click did anything --

By the time I clicked on the second ball, the first ball was already pretty much in the chute.

I just got it your way on the third or fourth try; very nice.

Level 28 is the one I'm stuck on now, but maybe I'll try it with chipmunk's tip, which looks like it might be helpful for this (and which seems like the sort of thing you might put in the instructions). The "more levels" after level 30 are user-created levels, which are pretty uneven.

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Got level 28 of Morphing -- thanks for the tip Chipmunk!

Buttons, I looked at the video walkthrough for level 30 and

It didn't really make any sense to me. Apparently if you let the green ball fall onto the board from a certain height it'll keep bouncing higher and higher until it reaches the target? I guess the green balls we've seen have been very bouncy but I'm not sure why this one behaves as it does.

Anyway, if you finish it you don't get a "you win" screen; it just gives you the option of "level select" and "more games." A little disappointing but since I cheated to finish I can't really complain.

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Cyberjar88 Author Profile Page December 4, 2010 2:29 PM

@Dora: Thanks for getting this song stuck in my head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B09n4ZrSE6Y

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Anonymous December 4, 2010 5:07 PM

I try to load the Training Set game, but all I get is a screen that says "CLICK", and no matter where I click, nothing happens.

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Hope there will be a sequel to training set.

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Love was really interesting. Really makes you think.

Momiga was pretty fun, but short and simple.

Training Set kind of freaked me out. o_o Feels like some kind of mini-game leading up to an actual game...

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Anonymous December 7, 2010 1:37 AM

I thought the ending in Training Set was very good

you learn all these skills at great effort and then, desperate to receive those last lessons/abilities, you...die. That is the last lesson. Just like life.

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